Sarcopenia is a complex syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength. Malignancy is a major determinant of sarcopenia, and gastric cancer (GC) is among the most common causes of this phenomenon. As sarcopenia is a well-recognized poor prognostic feature in GC and has been associated with worse tolerance of surgical and medical treatments, members of the multidisciplinary team should be aware of the clinical relevance, pathogenic mechanisms, and potential treatments for this syndrome. The importance of sarcopenia is often underestimated in everyday practice and clinical trials, particularly among elderly or fragile patients. As treatment options are improving in all disease stages, deeper knowledge and greater attention to the metabolic balance in GC patients could further increase the benefit of novel therapeutic strategies and dramatically impact on quality of life. In this review, we describe the role of sarcopenia in different phases of GC progression. Our aim is to provide oncologists and surgeons dealing with GC patients with a useful tool for comprehensive assessment and timely management of this potentially life-threatening condition.
- Journal Article